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After a 33-Year Absence, a Lost Beach Returns to Ireland

A storm washed the beach away in 1984—and another one brought it back last month.

Why go to the beach when you can wait for the beach to come to you? For the people of Dooagh, Ireland—an island village off the country’s western coast—this patience has finally paid off. After 33 years, a beach stolen from them by a freak storm has returned, transforming a rough, rocky coastline back into a summer destination.

As the Irish Times reports, in the summer of 1984, a storm swept over Dooagh, stayed put for a few days, and then retreated. Before it left, it exacted a heavy payment—about 900 feet of pristine beach. Practically overnight, a shoreline that had been covered in soft, golden sand was instead just bare rock. Hotels and guest houses closed down. Signs that read “to the beach!” were suddenly irrelevant.

And then, late last month, heavy winds kicked up again—and over the course of a few days, the beach returned. “Hundreds of tonnes of sand were deposited around the area where [it] once stood,” the Guardian reports. Photos show waves breaking gently on the newly smooth surface, and humans and dogs happily frolicking.

Tourists are already returning, the Irish Times reports. But there are intangible benefits too: “It is great to look out and see the beautiful beach instead of just rocks,” local restauranteur Alan Gielty told the Guardian. It’s almost like time travel.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to [email protected].